From March 10th to 24th, 2019, hip hop artists Leigh “Breeze-Lee” Foaad (Dancer), Carlos “DJ Quest” Aguilar (DJ), Danielle Mastrion (Graffiti/Aerosol Artist), Divinity Roxx (MC), and site manager Kane Smego traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as part of the Next Level program to perform for audiences and collaborate with local artists to promote cross-cultural creative exchange and conflict transformation.
The Centro Cultural Mauricio Báez served as the venue for the Next Level Academy, where student-collaborators participated in workshops in hip hop dance, DJing, emceeing/rapping, and graffiti art. In the evenings following the workshops, local musicians and artists performed for and collaborate with the Next Level artists, including community members from Villa Mella (a community whose music has been dubbed a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,) as well as national folkloric dancer César Trinidad and his merengue group.
Breeze-Lee, Divinity Roxx, and DJ Quest also held master classes at the Domíco-Americano Center and Royalty Danc Company, while Danielle collaborated with a local graffiti artists to create a mural at Club Los Cachorros community center in Cristo Rey.
Nearly 1,500 people attended Next Level’s final concert, which featured performances from Next Level Academy student-collaborators, as well as a collaboratively-written song by Dvinity Roxx, DJ Quest, Breeze-Lee, and world-famous Afro-Dominican percussionist David Almengod. Next Level’s Team Dominican Republic is part of a larger Next Level cohort of American MCs, DJs, beat makers, and hip hop dancers who seek to build global community through hip hop culture.